Technology’s march & language

April 24, 2012

Links for today’s chat with Jim Mora on Critical Mass:

The 100 year march of technology at The Atlantic.

The graph showing the adoption of technology is fascinating, not least because it shows that households were slower to adopt things like washing machines which made domestic chores easier than those which entertained, like radios.

Three must-have travel languages at Daisann McLean’s Real travel.

She chose Cantonese:

. . . Harder and more beautiful and complex than Mandarin, full of sass and splendor. It’s got everything you want in a language. Great food culture. Terrific vocabulary of insults. And the best thing of all: no hierarchy of class or gender built into the grammar.

The vocabulary of insults probably isn’t the best reason for choosing a language. But it can be fun to deliver an insult in another language in such a way that the listener thinks you’re delivering a compliment – though it pays to be quite sure they don’t understand what you’re saying.

My rusty Spanish has only a couple of insults – one of which is pajero which shows why people who name vehicles ought to check with speakers of other languages.

November 9 in history

November 9, 2009

On November 9:

1494 The Family de’ Medici became rulers of Florence.

Armorial of Medici

1620 Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sighted land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


1769 Captain Cook observed the transit of Mercury.

1841 King Edward VII was born.

1857  The Atlantic magazine was founded in Boston.

1868  Marie Dressler, Canadian actress, was born.

1887 The United States received rights to Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

1902  Anthony Asquith, British film director, was born.

1917 Joseph Stalin entered the provisional government of the USSR.

1918  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicated after the German Revolution, and Germany was proclaimed a Republic.

1918  Spiro Agnew, 39th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1920 White New Zealand policy  was introduced. The Immigration Restriction Amendment Act 1920 made it necessary for immigrants to apply for a permanent residence permit before they arrived in New Zealand.

1921 Albert Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with the photoelectric effect..

1936 Mary Travers was born.

1937  Roger McGough, English poet, was born.

1953 Cambodia beccame independent from France.

1955 – Karen Dotrice, British actress

Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber
in a publicity photo for Mary Poppins

1967 The First issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published.

1989  Fall of the Berlin Wall. Communist-controlled East Germany opened checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany. People started demolishing the Berlin Wall.

View in 1986 from the west side of graffiti art on the wall’s infamous “death strip”

1994 The chemical element Darmstadtium was discovered.

1998 Brokerage houses were ordered to pay 1.03 billion USD to cheated NASDAQ investors to compensate for their price-fixing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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